After last week’s fairly action-filled and fast-paced episode, fans of The Walking Dead knew that there was no way that we were going to be in for a full season at such a breakneck pace. After all, yes, this is the zombie apocalypse, but the story, characters, and audience still need time to breathe and process what’s been happening. That being said, so far the fifth season of the hit show doesn’t seem to want to slow down too much, as things are starting to ramp up again at the end of the episode.
But that’s the end. There’s a whole bunch of stuff (and thaaaangs) happening before that. Well, honestly, it’s a lot of talking. There’s a definite thread of “starting over” throughout this episode, thanks to conversations between Rick and Carol, between Tara and Maggie, and, somewhat, between Bob and Sasha. It’s not as important what brought you to the point where you are part of the group (or back as a part of the group). What’s important is what you’re doing now that you’re with them. Even Bob, who spent most of his initial episodes clearly dealing with his role as the final survivor from different groups, has found a new start, and an almost annoyingly positive look on life. Clearly, his newly budding relationship with Sasha is helping that, but Bob’s been a changed man since shortly after the prison fell apart and Maggie and Sasha made it clear that they wanted him around.
However, even with somewhat of a rebirth happening within the group, it isn’t enough to keep them from populating the ranks of the Walking Dumb, so let’s check out who makes the cut this week!
Well hello, new-to-the-show-continuity character! I’m sure that everything will go swimmingly for you, now that you’ve joined up with the Ricktocracy. Oh, wait, you clearly have absolutely zero survival skills, having stumbled into a bounty of food thanks to serendipitous timing (and probably being a bit of a coward, preventing you from actually helping others, if the scratchings on the side of your church are to be believed). You have no weapons other than your faith. And you’ve wandered alone into the woods, not prepared in any way to deal with Walkers. Good thing for you Rick and his group happened to be close enough to your path to rescue you from your rocky outcropping, only to later allow you to endanger everyone once again on a scavenging run. Also, does that church have a working washer and dryer, because your clothes look WAY too clean for dealing with this world.
Welcome back to the list, Rick. After last week, I was actually a little concerned that you’d turned over enough leaves that you might avoid being listed here. You’ve been burned by other people plenty of times that your hesitation towards saving anyone makes perfect sense. However, once you’ve rescued Gabriel, you insist that he goes with you on a supply run? To a location he admits is infested, shortly after he admits his own practical uselessness in any sort of combat situation? Yes, you’re convinced that they guy is trying to hide something (surprise, he is!), and possibly setting you on a path towards a trap, but maybe keeping him back while your crack commandos get the needed goods would have been a better idea. Also, probably not the best idea to use submerging Walkers as part of you “let’s go save the guy we just met… again” plan. Remember, Rick. They’re dead. They can’t drown. And you can’t see them when the water is cloudy and brackish.
I do feel a little bad for Carol. Clearly, she was able to rescue the group from Terminus, but the sting from having been sent packing by Rick must sting a little. She’s also forced to carry the burden about what happened to Lizzie and Mika silently, because if she says anything, it forces Tyreese to come clean, too. However, look around, Carol. Everyone is having beautiful heart-to-heart moments. You facilitated an amazing reunion, AND you helped Rick reconnect with Lil Asskicker. Everyone’s talking about what you do now, instead of what you did before (well, everyone except Eugene, because he doesn’t have the jargon for that kind of talk yet), and how that makes the group stronger. So, naturally, after you proved that you can survive on your own, but are stronger with others, you decide to just bug out again? Good thing that Daryl was following you, because it kept you from becoming a target.
Clearly, Bob is hiding something. After all, even in the world of The Walking Dead, it isn’t common to go from exuberantly happy to destitute and seemingly contemplating suicide that quickly. There are a few theories as to what exactly Bob is hiding (well, okay, there’s really just ONE BIG THEORY), given how quickly his mood changed after he almost lost his life getting supplies from the food bank. But Bob, much like Carol above, turns away from the group, wandering outside while everyone else is gaining support and strength from companionship. At least Carol seemed to be preparing herself for solo survival. You stepped outside to cry, which is somewhat understandable if you really were contemplating suicide before you could bring down the group. Now you’re lunch, and not in the way that most people on this show expect to be.
1. Everyone holed up in the church
Congratulations, everyone! You’ve got food! You’re being allowed to drink the communion wine! You’ve survived through the ordeal of Terminus and come out fairly lovey-dovey with each other! This is truly a happy day. No, really, it is. The group deserves to be able to take a load off once in a while. That said, maybe you should have, oh, placed GUARDS around the church (at least inside at entry points). Daryl already told Rick that he knew that they were being tracked by someone, even if he couldn’t find evidence of it. And, during your frivolity, we know that AT LEAST THREE PEOPLE walked off, without anyone really seeming to take note. One, maybe. Two is stretching it. Three? Especially with who exactly these three people were? Guys, I get it. You spent an entire season not knowing whether or not Carl was in a house, so maybe the concept of trying to keep those you love and trust close and safe is a foreign concept, but not even the military group suggested guards. Unless somehow Gabriel convinced you that there was no way for anything to get in (he would seem to know).
Honorable Mention. The Termites
Honestly, we don’t know yet if the Termites deserve to be on this list. They’re only placed as an honorable mention, so that I can come back and pretend to be far smarter than I am if the theories about what Bob was hiding turn out to be true. And, if they are, then to Gareth and company, I only have one question. Were you never taught to clean and dress your meals for preparation? Or were you just too hungry to look deeper than you did?